If you’re a senior in the market for a new home, the process is, in many ways, the same as it is for anyone else. Whether you’re downsizing, moving closer to family, or buying for any other reason, you should be able to get a mortgage as long as you qualify financially. However, just like with everyone else, it can be a long and complicated process. Here are some tips on how to navigate home buying for seniors, and find a home that makes you happy.
Home Buying For Seniors – Financial Options and Challenges
Thanks to the ECO (Equal Credit Opportunity Act), all borrowers are protected from being discriminated against because of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, and whether they receive government assistance. Therefore, you should not have any problems getting a mortgage if you qualify. Nonetheless, cash-poor elders are a primary target for sketchy mortgage lenders, so it’s recommended that you always hire a lawyer to go through the terms and costs before you sign the papers for a house or mortgage.
Before you begin your search for the right home, you’ll need to calculate how much house you can afford. You should be able to get a good idea by factoring in your annual household income, monthly spending, loan type, current average APR, and how much you’ll pay down. Once you have an estimated amount, consult a professional to go through the numbers with you.
Find A Home That Makes You Happy
Finding the right home can be both exciting and challenging. No matter your budget and lifestyle, it usually comes down to a combination of careful calculations and intuition. If you have a hard time envisioning yourself in the house, chances are you’ll walk away. But if you start talking with your spouse about where the furniture will go, that can be a sign of feeling a connection with the house. Once you narrow your choices down, it’s critical to have each house carefully inspected and to make a list of things to check for, such as a damaged roof, uneven floors, improperly wired electrical outlets, hidden leaks, and other potential problems. Moreover, remember that you’re not only choosing the house, you’re choosing the neighborhood as well.
As a senior, you’ll want to consider that your needs will likely change as you get older. For instance, it’s important to be able to get in and out of the house, move around inside, and have daily necessities within reach — all easily and safely. It may be hard to find a house that already has all the features you’ll need in order to maintain your quality of life as you age. You can probably find one that has most of what you need, but it’s good to budget for future remodeling and modifications. Also, be sure to research any grants and other services available that assist with home modifications.
With Home Buying For Seniors, Hiring Professionals Is A Must
When you’re buying your new home, it’s important to remember that there are professionals that can help you through every step of the process. Hiring professionals for everything can get expensive, but it’s the safest and quickest way to make the process less painful. Along with hiring professionals to assist you in the home-buying process, look in your area for recommended occupational therapists and senior real estate specialists to help with identifying what modifications your home needs, and find a good contractor to do the modifications.
Buying a home is never easy or painless, no matter your age. Listen carefully to your real estate professional, and hire help for navigating your financial options and challenges. It will help the entire process of home buying for seniors seem less daunting. Calculating what you can afford and following your intuition will help you choose the right forever home. Budgeting for modifications and remodels will ensure that you can thrive in the home for years to come. Don’t be afraid to hire professionals and, most importantly, enjoy your new adventure.
Additional helpful resources for Seniors in Alabama can be found here and here.